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Instagram giveaways and contests

If you have not held a single Instagram contest till now, then you have been missing out on a lot of engagement. Instagram accounts that decide to go for contests can have as much as 70% faster growth than accounts that neglect it. If you want your account to stand out, contests are the way to go.

Here we will show the best Instagram ideas to get the most out of your contest, raising your brand awareness. We will also go through the rules you must keep in mind before running a contest to avoid getting in trouble with the social media giant, or even the government if you are not careful. So let’s get started!

Instagram content rules

Rules are boring we know, but the good part is that Instagram’s contest rules are super easy to understand and follow compared to rules of many other social media sites. Just be sure to keep in mind the rules before running your contest.

Instagram’s Lack of Endorsement

Instagram has made this very clear that giveaways must mention that Instagram is in no way involved or associated with the contest. All you have to do is to put a disclaimer which tells that Instagram does not endorse this contest.  

Terms of Use and Release of Responsibility

Along with mentioning Instagram’s lack of endorsement, you should also tell your followers that Instagram is in no way responsible for anything that might happen to the participants of a certain contest. This is also why your contest should be covered by written legal documents between the participants of your contest and your business.

Inaccurately Tagged Content

This is a practice many brands do to increase engagement and the content reach by telling their followers to tag certain images and posts even if the followers have nothing to do with the highlighted photos. Instagram is completely against inaccurate tagging, and this is a violation of its rules, so be sure to avoid inaccurate tagging.

Correct Hashtags

Whenever a brand or business holds a contest, they tell their followers to use a hashtag specifically created for the contest. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it’s recommended that the contests that take place must have either ‘contest’ or ‘sweepstakes’ in their hashtag.

Regardless of the FTC, the term contest in your hashtag will help others know of your contest.

Reporting Prizes to the IRS

If your contest is hosted in the USA, you may need to talk some things out with IRS, depending on how valuable your prize is. Prizes that go above $600 require that winners complete the RS Form W-9. They must also provide their security number is the prize money is above $600. Contestants should be notified of this and the deadline they have to complete the documentation.

Identifying Sponsoring Brands

You can take your content visibility to new heights with influencer promotion or brand sponsorship. You have to make sure that influencers and sponsors are tagged in all the posts related to your contest.

Local Rules

Local rules vary from country to country; they may be different even between different states. Something perfectly acceptable in one state might look inappropriate in another. So be sure to look into the local rules you have to abide before running your contest.

No Support From Instagram

This is another thing which Instagram makes crystal clear; their platform will not help you in any way if you are having problems running your contest. The platform’s rule also says that they will not tell you whether consent is required to use the user-generated content that you get or how consent can be asked for from the users.

Best Instagram Giveaway Ideas

Like and comment to win

This is something which almost every brand does when starting a contest because it’s simple and it works. It’s so convenient for the user since all they have to do is Like. It easily to moderate as well since you don’t need to keep track of certain hashtags or look through the several entries. The problem that arises with this type of content is that since it’s too easy to ask for likes, almost everyone will do it without giving anything back to your brand if you are looking for lead-generation.

To counter this problem, ask for a comment related to the picture as well, so people can learn about your brand in the process.

Run a referral contest

A referral contest is one of the best ways to get huge social engagement. This is because whenever someone refers to a friend, they get an extra entry in the giveaway which motivates people to refer as much as they can. You get to build your social media following and have the word of your giveaway spread by your followers.

Share or RT to enter

Like and comments do bring engagement to your brand, but when sharing is also required, a lot more people can get to know your brand. Ask people to share your post on their Instagram Stories, which will make your content have a much farther reach. Be sure that you have at max 24 hours to confirm the shares.

Countdown timer

Countdown timer tells the users that the giveaway will end if they don’t act soon enough. Urgency is created, and users will more likely act at the time they see the post. You can add the countdown timer from your Instagram Stories.

User-generated content contest

User-generated content is always a good trade as they work for you in many ways. You get to have content you can share across many of your social media sites while also making the users feel important as their content is being shared to a much larger audience. Just be sure to include in your contest rules that you can share the content that the users submit.

The content you ask could be anything, a picture showing them with their product, how your product has had an improvement in their lives, or post anything related to your product. Dominoes did this using the #pieceofthepiecontest, asking fans to prove that they are the best fan of the brand. It shows how even big brands can benefit from contests.

Photo caption contest

A photo caption content allows your followers to show their creativity, while also bring engagement to you. Just come up with an unusual or interesting photo and ask for your fans to come up with a caption. People love to show off their humour, so this is a great way to engage with your fans.

Instagram Stories contest

Instagram Stories must not be neglected when running a contest; after all, it’s one of the best ways to bring in engagement. The contest will last 24 hours, as is the Instagram Stories time limit, and you can collect entries using the questions feature. Additionally, the time limit can go beyond 24 hours using Instagram Stories ads.

Design a Voting Contest

Voting contests are like photo contests but even better! You can ask your Instagram followers to send in their entries, and then the winner can be selected through voting from your followers. The photos, as discussed before, can be anything related to your business. The one with the most likes gets crowned the winner.

A voting contest makes your followers better understand your product or brand as they have a key hand in deciding who wins the contest. They get to know more about your brand in the process.

Trivia or Skill-Based Contest

A contest revolving around trivia can be a great way to make your followers learn more deeply about your brand. They must respond to questions about your brand or product, making them more involved with your business. You can also ask about questions revolving your brand, not only giving you a lot of engagement but also providing you with useful user input.

If your service teaches a certain skill, you could ask your followers to show off the said skill, and when others will see what creative ideas your followers bring they will be more inclined to come to your brand. It can be a proof of how well your brand or product works.

Scavenger Hunt Contest

Although less popular than other ideas, since it requires some amount of work from your fans, Scavenger hunt contents can still be a very fun way for your followers to engage with your brand. Use your Instagram feed to provide the necessary clues for people to find the prize or maybe a list of things the user needs to do and post on their Instagram Story.

DevMountain Dallas, a coding training centre, followed a similar approach to look for engagement. They asked people to look for certain toys that were hidden on their campus, using Google Street View. The entries were then asked to be sent to them using Instagram DM, but you can ask your followers to post on their feed or Instagram Stories.